US Open Championships: Fast 400m IMs Highlight Night Three

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, August 9. MEGHAN Hawthorne and Michael Weiss posted the top times in the women's and men's 400m IM, while Erika Erndl and Kenneth To also picked up wins on the third night of the US Open in Indianapolis.

Rattler Swim Club's Meghan Hawthorne and Aggie Swim Club's Sarah Henry, the sixth and seventh place finishers in the 400m IM at Trials, proved their performances in Omaha were no fluke, going 1-2 in the event tonight with times faster than their finals performances just over a month ago. Though initially trailing several other swimmers through the first half of the race, both swimmers posted sub-1:20 breaststroke splits to pull away from the field and set up a showdown in the freestyle leg. Henry outsplit Hawthorne, 1:02.54 to 1:02.70, but couldn't close the gap, as Hawthorne touched first in 4:40.43 and Henry second in 4:40.90. Hawthorne was already ranked 25th in the world with her 4:40.00 from prelims in Omaha, but Henry shot up to 28th with her performance. Clearwater Aquatic Team's Rebecca Mann, who placed ahead of both Hawthorne and Henry at Trials with a fifth place 4:41.61, came in third tonight in 4:43.07.

In the men's 400m IM, Wisconsin Aquatics' Michael Weiss took control of the race after the second 50m of breaststroke and never looked back, pulling away to win in 4:15.79. That cut nearly eight seconds off his prelim time, and even clipped his fifth place Trials time of 4:16.31. Palo Alto Stanford's Adam Hinshaw placed second in 4:17.91, a time that would've qualified fifth at Trials. Hinshaw finished just out of the top heat in Omaha, taking 10th. Indiana University's Stephen Schmuhl also got some revenge, placing third in 4:18.74. That time would've placed sixth in the preliminaries at Trials; Schmuhl took 11th in Omaha in 4:21.78.

T2 Aquatics' Erika Erndl, 34, topped the field of the women's 100m fly with a personal best of 58.75, just getting the better of Tennessee's Kelsey Floyd, who touched in 58.98. Floyd placed fourth in the event at Trials in 58.22, while Erndl finished just outside the top heat in ninth with a 58.87. Palo Alto Stanford's Jasmine Tosky claimed third place honors this evening with a 59.45.

Australia's Kenneth To captured the men's 100m fly title in 52.65, pulling away from the heat after turning in fourth place at the halfway point. Kyler Van Swol of Minnesota Aquatics took second in 52.89, while Daniel Lester, also of Australia, wound up third in 52.93. Van Swol finished just outside his ninth place Trials time of 52.74.

The women's and men's 800m free relays closed out tonight's session. Marissa Brown, Catherine Breed, Allison Brown and Celina Li of the Pleasanton Seahawks topped the women's field in 8:11.83, while Great Britain's team of Lewis Coleman, Alfie Howes, Daniel Wallace and Matthew Johnson combined efforts to post a 7:23.76 in the men's event.

Check out more of Peter Bick's photos from the US Open Championships Photo Gallery, like the one below:

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